Sometimes luxury is best served effortlessly and stripped back. We’ve teamed up with the skincare travel essential, Crème de la Mer, to bring you a travel guide to simple beauty – here, we offer our picks of some of the world’s most special and naturally beautiful getaways (and give a little advice on what to pack)…
WHERE TO GO
COSTA RICA Central America
Smouldering volcanoes, dense emerald jungles, and rainforests towering into the clouds – this beach-enclosed paradise offers one of the most biodiverse backdrops in the world. The 1,200km of shoreline tick every beachy box: sandy, rocky, surfing and even beaches populated by monkeys.
The Harmony Hotel (right) has a Healing Centre that hosts daily yoga classes and guided meditation, the Harmony Hotel also offers massages and facials using local fruits and plants. Sound too much like hard work? Kick back on hammocks with smoothies from the juice bar or have a poke around the ferns, palms and flowers that make up this tropical paradise. Alternatively, Oxygen Jungle Villas is a minimalist estate in Uvita set amid protected rainforest, where tree-shrouded Balinese-style villas perch above the sparkling Pacific waters with plenty of leafy enclaves to hide away. Below is Whale’s Tail, a long sandbar – at low tide, it’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling and spotting marine life.
WHAT TO PACK
Crème de la Mer’s Moisturizing Soft Cream: perfect for a simple beauty regime in a faraway destination.
The now-legendary Crème de la Mer skincare line was first developed to transform tired-looking skin with its amusingly monickered (but oh-so-serious) Miracle Broth™, a special blend of sea kelp, minerals, vitamins and oils. Their new essential – the Moisturizing Soft Cream – is nourishingly rich, yet soft and light, so it’s an ideal warm-weather alternative to the original, ultra-rich formula.
MORE PLACES YOU’LL FIND SIMPLE BEAUTY…
Palm trees and scented orange groves one minute, exotic Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Arab architecture the next. For added adventure amid soul-stirring natural beauty, hop over by boat or helicopter to the volcanic Aeolian Islands in the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily.
Hotel Signum (above) on Salina in the Aeolian Islands is staggered around scented bougainvillea- and honeysuckle-festooned terraces – although many of the pretty pared-back rooms have their own private Med-view decks. Don’t miss the spa, Salus per Aquam, which specialises in geothermic water treatments and steam baths. And Azienda Agricola Mandranova (right) is more than just a rustic guesthouse with friendly owners. As well as having an impressive array of art, stay here on Sicily’s stunning southern coast and there is an emphasis on conviviality and the cucina: they even offer cooking classes using ingredients plucked straight from the olive tree-filled gardens.
Sure, the sun, sand and surf of this established holiday haven is worth traversing the globe for, but it’s also an all-in-one destination, for its unique combination of culture, history, beaches, shopping, spas and sleek bars and restaurants – a billing that not many other places in south-east Asia can compete with.
Uma Ubud (right) is a mountainside retreat in central Bali on a mission to relax and rejuvenate care of incredible valley scenery, soothing sounds of Balinese wildlife, and beautiful thatched balés. Add to that guided treks around the paddy fields each morning, free daily yoga classes, and Como Shambhala’s globally celebrated spa treatments. After you’ve recouped your energy, check into The Legian & The Club on buzzing Seminyak Beach, where the fashionistas flock for sophisticated nightlife. This oceanfront boutique hotel has a split personality, offering chic suites at the Legian hotel as well as luxury villas with private swimming pools at the Club.
Touching the Atlantic Ocean, Wester Ross, the northernmost part of the British Isles, is a celebration of the great outdoors: rivers, coast and lochs afford fisherfolk the ultimate fix, while crystal-clear waters framed by picturesque mountainscapes provide a walker’s paradise with no shortage of viewpoints.
Pool House is a place full of passion: because the wine, the food and the decor have become a vocation for a family who have scoured the earth to furnish their hotel. More is more in the look and feel of the interior, contrasting with the vast stretch of unspoiled West Scottish Highlands beauty that surrounds it.
Crème de la Mer’s Moisturizing Soft Cream may be the new must-have for aficionados of simple beauty this autumn, but there are four other textures to choose from; skip along to your nearest Crème de la Mer counter quick-smart, and you’ll get a free ‘Where Miracles Begin’ consultation, plus a 3ml introduction to a moisturiser of your choice*. Alternatively, enter ‘SMITH’ at checkout to receive a 3ml sample* of the new Moisturizing Soft Cream with your next online purchase from Crème de la Mer.
Join us every week in September for the latest travel guides, in association with Crème de la Mer.
*One 3ml sample per customer, while stocks last. Offer valid until 30th September 2012.